A Bungled Issue?

photo: cafe au pere foudlard, les halles

In the room-temperature shade, no awnings, and
topless cars.

Blame It On the Weather

by Ric Erickson

Paris:- Monday, 28. May 2001:- The weather gripped the city in its hot clutches during the week just past, and the TV-weather people started talking about temperatures 'above' normal for this time of - blah, blah, etc.

Now that they have shot up even more, the forecasters have dropped this phrase while making predictions of numbers over 30 - for southern France.

Paris is doing fine, with highs above 25 degrees forecast for the next few days, with a bit of cooling expected next weekend.

The 'clouds' in this picture are exactly that - clouds. Not many days have been completely free of them. By next weekend cloud cover over northern France might be pretty general.

Since I have been able to shed heavier coats and thermal underwear, even while inside my naturally ultra-cool apartment, I am not going to complain about this.

Bungled Issue?

I may think I am responding favorably to the fine weather but a look at the time and the list of unfinished regular Metropole features leads me to think I have bungled something here.

In this issue there is no new 'Photo of the Week' page. The reason for this is mentioned below. Being just beforephoto: cafe cadran the end of the month has made me decide to drop the 'Scene' column entirely. Even though I have enough material to add 20 percent to it, plus take out the 20 percent that is expired, I think I'd rather just skip it.

In the café Cadran, jazz on the radio in old-time Paris.

I don't know how next weekend's 'Fête du Vélo' will turn out, but it is mentioned in this week's feature on bikes and rollers. If in doubt, check last week's 'Scene' column for the 80 percent of events that are still current.

Café Life

This involved an unplanned 'wandering around with Dennis Moyer' last Wednesday. He offered me lunch and then proposed a stroll and we drifted over to the west side of the 14th arrondissement. The weather was mellow and it was easier to agree to it than think up some impressionistic-historical sort of tour.

Features in this magazine are not usually planned long in advance. Ideas come from anywhere, or no 'ideas' come at all. Last week was one of 'no ideas,' but club members wrote and sparked the notion of doing a bit of research - and this turned out to be more complicated to write than 'wandering around.'

The RATP's Shop

On the way to verify that the RATP's 'Roue Libre' bike service was still operating in its same location at Les Halles, I started out by getting there by using the métro and getting tangled up in its Les Halles exit.

It is not a station I use often. It joins the RER station with three lines to the métro line four, and if you add in the connecting link to Châtelet, then there are four métro lines. To save walking through tunnels, you can ride the métro one stop further to Les Halles station itself.

If you ever arrive at this station by métro, be sure to keep your active RATP ticket handy. There are all sorts of ticket barriers within this multi-level station and the ticket you arrived with should get you through all of them.

In what might be a RER part of thisphoto: ratp briquet complex, the RATP has a boutique called 'Objets et Patrimoine.' In it you can find all sorts of inexpensive items relating to the métro - from t-shirts to books and Paris place signs.

The RATP selects its suppliers with care, so much of what is on display is well-designed, well-made, and includes items that are not found in every other Paris souvenir shop. It is possible some items can only be found here.

A Bic lighter, custom-made for the RATP - only 10 francs.

The shop lady was very friendly, even when I asked her to show me 'something different.' She thought for a moment and produced a book titled, 'Paris Sur les Roulettes.'

This book, which is only available in French, details the surface conditions of 3500 kilometres of Paris' sidewalks and street crossings and lays it out in graphic detail with 80 maps. It has a lot of other information, such as the locations of all of Paris' free drinking water fountains.

The real value of the book, which was produced by a non-profit association, is for those who are trying to get around the city in wheelchairs. It is a guide to where you can go with them. It says how high sidewalks are and how wide.

This could be very handy, but also handy for cyclists, scooter pushers and the roller folks - anybody who is concerned with Paris' surfaces in fact.

'Paris Sur les Roulettes,' new and enlarged edition, published by Dakota Editions. 48 francs. At the RATP's 'Objets et Patrimoine' boutique, which is open from Monday to Friday; from 10:30 to 19:30. Paris 1. Métro/RER: Les Halles

Metropole Offers Its Photos

The offer of Metropole's large-format photos stagnates this week with a only the most recent photo / image page linked here. Out of more than 100 photos shot during the week none of them qualified as 'Photo of the Week' this week or any other.

Each week - the one excepted - one or two 'best' photos - or a cartoon - will be offered. Many of Metropole's weekly crop of other photos will match the 'best' one for interest and quality. If you see another one you like, ask if it instead.

More details are on this wek's 'Photo' page. Check it out. Any suggestions, advice and comments, will be welcome.

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